RUDYARD KIPLING’S MUSEUMS IN SUSSEX (England)
The Grange and Bateman’s
Rudyard Kipling was born in Bombay (India) on December 30th 1865. His earliest years were happily lived in India but at 5, he was sent to England to study and this experience was sad, he felt alone.
At the age of 16, in 1882, he returned to India, this time to Lahore, where his parents now lived. He worked as journalist but in his spare time, he wrote many remarkable poems and stories which formed the basis of his early fame.
He returned to England at the age of 23 winning success with Barrack-Room Ballads and other short stories.
In 1892, he married Carrie, an American girl.
After a world trip, the couple settles down in Brattleboro, Vermont (U.S.A.). Kipling wrote Captains Courageous and The Jungle Book and their first two children were born: Josephine and Elsie.
In 1896, the family returned to England, their son John was born and they went to live to The Elms in Rottingdean (Sussex). Here, he wrote Kim, Stalky & Co., and Just So Stories. He was already The Poet of Empire.
At the Museum of the Rottingdean Preservation Society, at The Grange in Rottingdean, there is now a Kipling Room, with a reconstruction of his study in The Elms, and exhibitions of his works. The Grange is open daily, and there is no admission charge.
In 1902, rich and sad after his daughter Josephine’s death, he moved to a lovely 17th century house called Bateman’s near Burwash, nearby Sussex, where he spent his remaining years and where he wrote Puck of Pook’s Hill and Rewards and Fairies , which included the poem “If”. Kipling was friend of Cecil Rhodes, of Lord Milner, and of Dr Jameson, on whose qualities the poem is said to have been based.
The house Bateman’s is now held by the National Trust as a memorial to Rudyard Kipling, and can be visited between April and October. It is one of over a thousand historic buildings in Britain protected by the Trust.
In 1907, Rudyard Kipling received the Nobel Prize for literature and his life should have been easy but the First War World stole the life of John, in the battle of Loos, in 1915.
He died in 1936.